Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/186829/how-do-you-convince-a-family-member-to-upgrade-an-old-and-possibly-compromised-system/
This week saw the arrival of Windows XP’s EOL date, yet many are holding onto it, and on occasion, even older systems still. How do you convince a stubborn family member that updating their unsupported system to a newer, more secure one is in their best interest?
my approach would be: "if it aint broken, don't try to fix it"
I also agree that upgrading often breaks things.
I guess I am on the other side of the camp here.
Um, no. Did you not read the article? It is probably broken, you just can't tell.
I've got relatives still using Windows XP, and I decided it's time to upgrade them. I'm upgrading them to Windows 7 Embedded, as I get that free through MS Dreamspark (because I'm a student). I'm currently using 8.1 Embedded myself, and from a user-facing point of view it works exactly the same as 8.1, so I can't imagine 7 will be any different.
Your "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" contributor is absolutely right. This panic is resembling the Millenium Bug in its intensity and absurdity. A computer with any system could be compromised without the owner's knowledge, regardless of having received the most recent security update, as we all know from experience; I suspect, though, that the effects will be more apparent on an older, less powerful machine. Generally speaking viruses are not only easily seen, but are best prevented by good security software, and the main providers (including Microsoft) have not published any plans to withdraw support from XP yet.
I think people should hang on to XP for as long as they wish. What additional features are available in the newer systems which are of use to more than 1 or 2% of users? On the contrary, they generally seem more crippled in what they can do, despite their hugely greater demands for system resources.
I would also point out the huge environmental impact of needlessly destroying and replacing so many hundreds of millions of perfectly good machines which use less power than their successors. It is a disgrace. For the sake of the planet, Microsoft would do well to make public the updates it will continue to produce for private sale. Perhaps if it requires some kind of subsidy to do so, it should be given one.
Hi BAW30s. I use WinXP (typing this on an XP system right now). I like WinXP - it's great in a lot of ways (and better than Win7 and other OSes in ways as well - ex. in save as dialog box, links on the right are useful ex. desktop, recent folders, etc NOT "libraries" like in Win7). However, I believe that you're wrong in a few ways. For one, Win7 IS better in some ways. Ex. the show desktop button placement is far better than in WinXP. This might be minor for many people, but I find it to be extremely useful as I keep links to frequently used programs on my desktop. I personally do NOT like the new taskbar. (Of course you can customize it). WinXP also doesn't handle multi-core CPUs and SSDs as well as Win7. Also, try upgrading (say more RAM) that WinXP PC. You'll find that the cost of older components is extreme compared to newer, faster components. ex. Old RAM and AGP video cards. I'd also like to point out that you do NOT need to buy/build a new PC to be able to upgrade to Win7. As I said, my current PC is a WinXP box - it has a single core athlon and 1.5GB RAM and I can STILL upgrade to Win7 if I like (it's another matter entirely if paying $100 for a new OS when your PC is worth less than that is a sane choice). And as I recently upgraded an old coreduo laptop of mine, I can assure you that Win7 doesn't use much more RAM than WinXP. However, I KNOW that you can build a thoroughly modern barebones PC for ~$250 (+OS cost). This is even easier to do with AMD's newly released AM1 platform. This brings me to my final point: Current machines are VASTLY more power efficient than older machines. They are able to do more work for a given TDP. AMD's AM1 platform is an excellent example of this. Just because your TOTAL power usage might be lower than a new machine does NOT make it more efficient as the new machine is far more powerful, thus offering more performance/watt. So in fact the opposite of what you say is true: buying/building a new machine will offer BETTER power efficiency (of course, if all you are going to do is surf the web and such, buying an i7-4770K + a GTX 780 Ti WILL waste a lot of power).
EDIT: An EXCELLENT example of this is my laptop vs. the new AM1 platform. (Remember that desktop parts are often far more power hungry than mobile parts). Take the top end Athlon 5350 vs. my core2duo (not coreduo of the other laptop mentioned above) T9300. The former has a 25W TDP, the latter a 35W TDP. This might not seem like a big deal - until you realize that the 5350 is more powerful 2648 score vs. 1709 on passmark. That's 55% more powerful. (I realize that that doesn't give a full comparison, but still - it is something to show the difference). One other key thing: That 5350 has integrated graphics HD 8400 = score of 346 vs. my discrete 8600m GT with a score of 181 that has a 22W TDP.That's 91% more powerful. So that new 5350 offer a LOT more performance than my laptop at a fraction of the TDP (and volume needed)! If we just sum everything: (2648+346)/35W= 2994 perf/35W = 85.5 performance/watt TDP. Compared to my laptop: (1709+181)/(35W+22W) = 1890 perf/57W = 33.2 perf/watt. Dividing those 2 perf/watt you see that the 5350 offers 2.58X the performance of my laptop's parts PER WATT. New parts are definitely more power efficient.
They can't support it forever. They can't dedicate time to an old an outdated OS.
Let them be until the OS comes to a screeching halt from infections or their identity or personal info is compromised. Then I would say I told you so. You can't force a horse to drink the water in front of him.
As the Hardware goes, so goes XP !! (LOL) (LOL)
Okay, so XP still technically works. It's not "broken." Neither is an old car that was made before seatbelts were mandatory. Sure, you can add seatbelts, but to do so you're gonna have to drill some holes the car was never meant to have, and those bolted on seatbelts are never going to work as well as ones that are built into a car. Oh, but what about airbags? Sure, again, you could jury-rig a system, but again it's gonna be making holes in the car that it wasn't supposed to have, and its never going to work as well as something built to have airbags in the first place. Every patch to XP is another strain. Ever patched a pair of pants? It puts extra strain on the edges of the patch and eventually you have to put another patch to cover the hole being created by that strain, which then creates its own strains.
Now, with Windows no longer wanting to dedicate their resources to an operating system that doesn't make them any money (people don't buy XP anymore, and remember, they're a capitalist company and it just makes good business sense to concentrate on the product you're actually selling), it doesn't make sense to continue to support it, especially as new technology is only going to make supporting XP exponentially harder as time goes on. It's time for XP to die, or go open source (which isn't going to happen, again, capitalist company).
But you know, you're NOT required to upgrade to Windows 7 or even 8. Linux (specifically LinuxMint) is a decent alternative with ever expanding hardware support, and most everything a basic user needs to do can now be done using easy GUI tools. The only thing I've found that a typical computer user (the kind that would be scared to try Linux) would need to go to the command line for is to install printer drivers, and it seems that any printer manufacturer that has linux drivers provides an easy shell script for installation of their software, leaving the end user to only have to put in a change directory, a chmod +x, and a ./ command, which they provide directions for. LinuxMint can even run on that ancient hardware you're claiming Microsoft is trying to force you to throw out. Or heck, if you want a more polished experience, upgrade to a Mac. With their new "OS upgrades are free" philosophy, you'll never have to pay out the nose for the most recent and up to date version of an operating system again.
You can go ahead and stick with XP as long as you like, but it's not a good idea. The question of whether Microsoft should continue to support XP is dead, they've decided not to. New exploits (which are being revealed all the time) aren't gonna get fixed. The people staying on XP are just creating the chance for another, bigger, badder "Heartbleed" bug to be revealed, one that doesn't open up just servers, but opens up their entire computers for malcontents to literally just walk right in. If you think that's not gonna happen, then fine, that's your opinion.
@raphoenix - I saw a reference to that too... I have to admit that it looks like XP is going to be around for a very LONG time yet and eventually evolve into a weird "kind of un-killable" electronic zombie OS...
Thanks to PersonP and hedgehog77 for the considered explanations of some of the advantages, which I do recognise, of Windows 7, and also for the advice concerning Linux Mint, which I certainly try from a boot cd.
I am going to hold on to XP for a while and wait and see what happens regarding the threatened exploits; after all, even had the updates continued, the next would not have been due until May 13th anyway.
Having heard that updates will still be produced by Microsoft for paying customers and for China I suspect that it won't be long until they start leaking out into the wider community anyway. Furthermore, I read that there are plugins for Firefox to improve its security for user of XP and then, as mentioned in the link above, there are companies like Arkoon Extended XP who produce software which will specifically look for malicious activity based on security holes found after support ended.
All in all, then, I shall take the warnings into consideration but hang on for now. In the long term, raphoenix is right: "as the hardware goes, so goes XP!!" It's not gone yet, though, and I don't think that most of my peripherals are upgradable either, so for the time being...
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